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I-9 Goes Green

Berin Romagnolo July 22, 2010

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Final Rule today allowing employers to electronically sign and store I-9 Forms, doing away with the necessity of storing hard copy papers and files for each employee for years.  It also clarified the regulations to state that I-9 Forms must be completed within three (3) business days, not calendar days, of the date employment begins.

Generally, every employer and recruiter or referrer for a fee must complete an I-9 Form to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee, including U.S. citizens.  The regulations stated that the I-9 must be completed within three days, implying three calendar days.  Today, the DHS clarified and amended the regulations to state that the employer has three business days to complete the I-9 Form.

In addition, recognizing that many employers are going “paperless,” DHS amended the regulations to allow employers to sign and store I-9’s electronically.  Employers must still retain the electronic records for three years from the date of hire or one year after termination, whichever is later, and recruiters or referrers for a fee must retain the records for three years from the date of hire.  In addition, the electronic system used must keep an audit trail of each time an I-9 is created, completed, updated, modified, altered or corrected, showing the date of access, the identity of the individual who accessed the electronic record, and the particular action taken.

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this, please contact Berin S. Romagnolo in our Immigration and Employment Groups.

This Alert is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.  According to Mass. SJC Rule 3:07, this material may be considered advertising. ©2010 Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP.  All rights reserved.

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